Harrah’s To Buy Planet Hollywood?

I was sitting on my couch enjoying the Patriots ruin my Monday night parlay when I read a tweet from Tim at Five Hundy By Midnight saying that he doesn’t want to see Harrah’s buy Planet Hollywood.  I immediately jumped up and checked my news feeds to see that the rumor may be true as Harrah’s purchased some of Planet Hollywood’s existing debt.

Sources confirmed this weekend that Harrah’s has purchased a portion of the $860 million debt load that is leveraged against the property…

…Brian Gordon, a principal at Applied Analysis, however, suggested Harrah’s could be following the recent trend of acquiring casino properties through debt purchases rather than through an outright buyout.

“With covenant and debt defaults looming around for some of these properties, it’s a potential way to gain eventual ownership of a property,” Gordon said.

The practice has been used successfully in the past locally, most recently when the Tropicana on the Strip was acquired in bankruptcy court.

The article in the Las Vegas Review Journal cites a few recent examples of investors buying casinos on the cheap through debt purchases.  I’ve loved Planet Hollywood since the Aladdin was sold and the theme changed.  Heck, I even liked gambling at the Aladdin.  Planet Hollywood has become one of my favorite casinos on the strip.

I have nothing against Harrah’s and think that this would be a great acquisition for them.  It would add a property with a cool, young vibe to their list of properties.  It would also allow them more ownership of the middle of the strip.  Independent ownership has allowed Planet Hollywood to carve out a niche and my fear would be that the monster that is Harrah’s will homogenize what makes Planet Hollywood unique in it’s own right.

Time will tell whether or not this happens, but unless Harrah’s own debt doesn’t allow this I don’t see how this deal doesn’t get done.

Holly Madison Signs PeepShow Extension

Earlier today Holly Madison signed an extension to remain with “Peep Show” at Planet Hollywood for another year.

While looking for a little more information I could only find stories on how plastic surgery changed her life.  Here’s a before and after for you.

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Buy tickets to “Peep Show” here

Air Curtains to Protect Dealers at Aria

Aria and CityCenter haven’t opened yet, but the casino is taking measures to protects it’s dealers against smokers.  Aria blackjack tables will be equipped with an “air curtain.”  An air curtain is, essentially, air shooting straight up from the table and will block most second hand smoke from the dealer.

That’s the next-to-best thing Aria could do to protect dealers’ health, aside from not allowing smoking in the casino, said Cindy Ortega, senior vice president of energy and environmental services for MGM Mirage, an owner of CityCenter.

“I can take three matches, light up the matches, blow them out, and I put the match right there and the smoke goes right straight up,” she said. “The air curtain is there to protect the dealer from the smoke. Now, it’s not 100 percent (as good) as a nonsmoker, but I think we’ve taken such giant leaps. I think it’s really great.”

Second hand smoke has long been an issue for dealers, so it’s nice to see MGM-Mirage being proactive.  I only wish that I could have an air wall around me so I didn’t stink of smoke after every night I’m in Las Vegas.  I hate the smell and now travel with fabreeze.

Frank Caliendo – 10 Years of Impersonations In Las Vegas

Frank Caliendo signed a 10 year contract to perform at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas beginning October 12.

Known by millions for his dead-on impressions of such celebrities as Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, John Madden, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno and dozens more, as well as myriad of television appearances and live stage performances, Caliendo’s new show will be a dynamic mix of high-energy comedy and fast-paced impressions enhanced by live music, video sketches and much more.

I don’t find Caliendo incredibly funny, but in short burst he and his John Madden impression can be very funny.

Cruise the Strip for the hottest shows in Vegas

Hotel 32 at Monte Carlo

Hotel 32 is the newly remodeled top floor at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  You may remember the top floor caught on fire just over a year ago.  It took a while to remodel and instead of just going with typical rooms Mointe Carlo decided to go upscale.

The rooms look great, but I’m not sure this would get me to stay at the Monte Carlo.  Thanks to Vegas Tripping for the heads up on this.

Aubrey O’Day Likes To Party All The Time

Aubrey O’Day likes to party all the time and I have proof for you.  In between appearances in “Peep Show” at Planet Hollywood O’Day decided to cover Eddie Murphy’s “Party All The Time.”

The song is catching on fast, and there are reports that Aubrey is in talks with Lil Wayne’s label Young Money.

“I’m such a fan of 80’s music, and this song has always been in my head,” Aubrey exclusively told us, “and with my reputation in the media, I figured everyone would get it when I say that I just wanna party all the time!”

I thought this was a joke, but it’s true.  I also thought the original was a joke, but it was serious.  I love Eddie Murphy and I think I now love Aubrey O’Day.  Thank you.  It will be interesting to see if O’Day can turn this into a new record deal.

Here’s the Eddie Murphy original.  Which is better?  I vote for the girl, even if I can’t see here. 🙂

Hard Rock Hotel Opens Paradise Tower Today!

Today is a very special day in Las Vegas as the Hard Rock hotel and casino opens their new tower today – the Paradise Tower.  Looking at the website it looks as if the new tower will be non-themed, clean and modern.  Here’s the room description from the HRC website:

The trendsetting Paradise Tower combines rock ‘n’ roll decadence with style and sophistication to create an energetic vibe that can only be found in the Hard Rock Las Vegas. All rooms will include high speed internet access via TV or wireless, 42” plasma TV with first run movies on demand, Bose CD stereo, minibar, top-of-the-line exclusive bath amenities and ultra luxurious top of the line bedding.

Doesn’t read like anything special to me.  The opening continues the Hard Rock’s expansion which has included a new location for The Joint and some new clubs.  These improvments haven’t done much for me, but I’m guessing I’m not their target client.

Catching Up With Casino Stocks

Casinos that are publicly owned and traded on the stock market reported earnings from the second quarter this week.  Here’s a rundown of who did what.  I’ll let you decifer for yourself.

Pinnacle has a profitable quarter.

Penn National reports a fall in profit.

Wynn net income falls 90%.

Las Vegas Sands reports 2nd quarter loss.